Buying A Piece Of Raw Land To Build Your Home On? Here's What Should Be Done Beforehand

Posted on: 25 September 2019

Buying a piece of raw land will give you the flexibility and freedom you need to build the exact home you've been dreaming of. Here are a few things that you should do before committing yourself to any property:

Check Neighboring Lot Values

When a home is built on a piece of raw land, it greatly increases in the land value as time goes on. So it's tough to compare land values if most of the properties around the piece of land you want to buy have been built on.

Luckily, you should be able to contact your county's building department and request a copy of current land values for the community where the land you're interested in is located. You can expect to find out what the value of the properties are with houses built on them so you have an idea of what kind of value your property will be worth once your home is established.

But more importantly, you will learn how much those properties were worth before anything was built on them. You can compare those values to the price of the land you're considering buying to determine whether you're really getting a good deal.

Learn Community Guidelines

It's also important to find out whether the community you plan to buy land in has a homeowner's association. If so, you should find out whether they have CC&Rs that they expect their residents to abide by. You need to know before you buy a piece of property whether there will be house color restrictions or landscaping requirements to meet.

You may find that you aren't willing to follow the CC&Rs, in which case it's best to know before you make an offer on a piece of land. Otherwise, you'll be stuck having to choose between trying to sell the land off or following the community rules and regulations even when you don't agree with them.

Schedule an ALTA Survey

One of the most important things you can do before buying a piece of raw land is have a professional ALTA survey done. An ALTA survey will tell you exactly where the property lines are, where any underground power or water lines might be located, and whether there are any easements or land use restrictions to worry about.

You will also find out whether there are any back taxes owed on the property or ownership issues that would prevent the land from being transferred to you. It's important to choose a surveyor to work with who uses the American Land and Title Association's surveying standards to ensure that the information you get is accurate and up-to-date.